KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two mid-town restaurants will require proof of vaccination to enter one day after the mask mandate in Kansas City goes into effect.
Beginning Tuesday, Hamburger Mary’s and Woody’s KC will ask to see your ID and vaccination card before you can get inside.
“We want to encourage people to get vaccinated,” owner Jeff Edmondson said.
The mayor’s mandate requiring masks indoors and Edmondson’s own moral compass led him to this decision.
Customers six feet apart in Hamburger Mary’s means 50 percent capacity. Edmondson said that’s barely sustainable.
“For our guests to be able to take their masks off and eat and drink and enjoy themselves,” Edmondson said. “We have to have at least 6 feet between tables which takes us back to a place where we’re barely surviving again.”
“Drink and be Mary” is written on the wall when you walk in and that’s what the owners said they’re allowing to continue by stopping unvaccinated people at the door.
“I feel it’s the right thing to do,” Edmondson said. “I feel like it’s the moral thing to do.”
People who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed inside, which means every person inside doesn’t have to wear a mask, according to the mayor’s mask mandate.
Edmondson and his partner own Woody’s KC. The same rules apply there.
He posted on Facebook – noting it’s not a political decision, but a moral requirement. He hopes to keep staff and vaccinated guests safe.
Two customers we talked to admire the stand.
“I, myself, have been vaccinated. So, actually, to come and eat in a place where everyone else has been vaccinated makes me feel more comfortable,” Stephanie said.
“I think at its basis it’s a way of incentivizing vaccination,” Amir said.
Edmonson said that’s the point – they hope this pushes people to get the vaccine.
He also knows it will send some people away.
“We knew that is a very real possibility that we will lose some customers because of this,” Edmondson said.
Two employees have not been vaccinated, according to Edmondson.
He said one committed to getting it after hearing about the requirement. The other could face a temporary leave of absence.
Edmondson said they do not apologize for taking a stand, but instead encourage other businesses, bars, and restaurants to do the same.
As long as there’s a mask mandate – proof of vaccination will be required, Edmondson said. The mask mandate lasts until at least Aug. 28, 2021.